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The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography?
CMI ^ | Thomas Schirrmacher

Posted on 02/19/2009 8:50:01 PM PST by GodGunsGuts

The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography?

by Thomas Schirrmacher

Summary

The 17th century controversy between Galileo and the Vatican is examined. Fifteen theses are advanced, with supporting evidence, to show that the Galileo affair cannot serve as an argument for any position on the relation of religion and science. Contrary to legend, both Galileo and the Copernican system were well regarded by church officials. Galileo was the victim of his own arrogance, the envy of his colleagues and the politics of Pope Urban VIII. He was not accused of criticising the Bible, but disobeying a papal decree...

(Excerpt) Read more at creationontheweb.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: accademiadeilincei; arrogant; arthurccustance; cardinalbarberini; cardinalborgia; catholic; china; chinese; christian; collegioromano; copernican; corruption; creation; demotu; dialogo; dominican; emperorrudolfii; enemies; ernstschmutzer; evolution; faith; federicodescesi; fischerfabian; galileo; gap; hemleben; holysee; humility; inquisition; intelligentdesign; jesuits; johanneshemleben; kepler; koestler; luther; martinluther; maury; moralabsolutes; obstinate; popepaulv; popeurbanviii; princeoftuscany; ptolemaic; rome; science; sidereusnuncius; sunspots; thomaskuhn; vatican; wilhelmschultz; witness

1 posted on 02/19/2009 8:50:01 PM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: Finny; vladimir998; Coyoteman; allmendream; LeGrande; GunRunner; cacoethes_resipisco; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 02/19/2009 8:50:15 PM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Much of it is Enlightenment propoganda. Trading on Newton’s system, they looked back and represented Galileo as a prophet scorned. Most of them, especially Voltaire, had only a high schoolers understanding of Newton, but pretended to know much more. The Church was in a kind of intellectual doldrums, with no one of the stature of an Aquinas to dig into the new science and reflect on it.


3 posted on 02/19/2009 9:00:41 PM PST by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


4 posted on 02/19/2009 9:06:25 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: GodGunsGuts
Galileo was a scientist who believed in the trustworthiness of the Bible and sought to show that the Copernican (heliocentric) system was compatible with it.

Galileo sought the independence of scientific pursuit from religious doctrine. He argued in his Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina that whatever scientific truth one might find must be compatible with the Bible, because the Bible is infallible, and any apparent discrepancy must be due to a misinterpretation of the Bible.

Galileo was not blamed for criticising the Bible but for disobeying papal orders.

We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in the trial, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgement of the Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely of having believed and held the doctrine which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures - that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world; ...

5 posted on 02/19/2009 10:00:08 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: GodGunsGuts

Yes,
I remember a brainwashing attempt in my first university, where we were instructed to read Galileo’s “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina.” We were told this meant that he was an early proponent of the separation of Church and State/Science/etc. and that he was anti-religious altogether.
But a careful reading of the actual material, rather than the self serving modern or postmodern drivel that was to do our thinking for us, would cause one to draw no such conclusion.
His saying that the purpose of the bible was (something to the effect)to show us how to go to heaven, not how heaven goes, did not deny scripture as some would spin it.

This is epidemic in academia - Locke was misquoted, with ellipses often used to turn his ideas into their opposites, and Newton’s assertion that the Church Father’s non-use of a particular Trinitarian passage of scripture was probable evidence that it did not read so in their time is used to say that he was non-Trinitarian, rather than an early textual critic. [Perhaps he was non-Trinitarian, however, this passage alone can not be used to support this theory :) ]

Modern man wants to justify itself by pointing to people who did not and could not share the same premises and say that they are drawn from same well. Then it wants to pretend that empiricism and “scientific” thought led to what it now calls the failure of the enlightenment experiment (in bloodshed) but will somehow lead to a different end, because we know better now. Posh.


6 posted on 02/19/2009 10:14:48 PM PST by Apogee (vade in pace (end of late night rambling))
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To: Alamo-Girl

Galileo is a satellite system that Boeing couldn’t get the shelves on the satellite to respond correctly. Down in El Sugundo. Big ones to be launched by big rockets. They have microwave anechoic ranges that you can drive a truck through. Sometimes things just don’t work.


7 posted on 02/19/2009 10:20:35 PM PST by BobS
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To: BobS

Thank you for sharing your insights, dear BobS!


8 posted on 02/19/2009 10:27:27 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: GodGunsGuts

Atheists in particular grossly exaggerate the injustice done to Galileo, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that he did suffer an injustice.


9 posted on 02/19/2009 10:35:49 PM PST by Mogwai (You say "far right" like that's a bad thing, Arlen!)
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To: Apogee
I remember a brainwashing attempt in my first university, where we were instructed to read Galileo’s “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina.” We were told this meant that he was an early proponent of the separation of Church and State/Science/etc. and that he was anti-religious altogether. But a careful reading of the actual material, rather than the self serving modern or postmodern drivel that was to do our thinking for us, would cause one to draw no such conclusion. His saying that the purpose of the bible was (something to the effect)to show us how to go to heaven, not how heaven goes, did not deny scripture as some would spin it.

Yes, he credits "an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree" with the epigram: "That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the the heavens go."

But this is a very clear expression of the separation of scientific and religious matters which you attribute to brainwashing.

10 posted on 02/19/2009 10:50:32 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: GodGunsGuts; All
What's funny (but not "ha-ha" funny) in all this is that, to the extent Galileo was persecuted, he was persecuted for erring from Ptolemy, not the Bible.
11 posted on 02/20/2009 5:26:04 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Nihil utile nisi quod honestum - Marcus Tullius Cicero)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
What's funny (but not "ha-ha" funny) in all this is that, to the extent Galileo was persecuted, he was persecuted for erring from Ptolemy, not the Bible.

To the extent...it was a very, very small extent. And it was because he made a pledge and reneged on it. He didn't have to make the pledge.
12 posted on 02/20/2009 5:28:47 AM PST by aruanan
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To: GodGunsGuts
This is barely entertaining any more. Galileo was persecuted by the church for conducting and believeing scientific inquiry that contradicted the literal reading of the bible. Today, we fully accept the concepts that he was persecuted for, except, it seems for a few posters here and the shameless, echo-chamber, "look at me I'm a REAL Christian and you're not!" creationinst web sites from which you post and draw your inspiration. Thank God (and I mean that literally) your brand of "science" is not to be found in the public schools.
13 posted on 02/20/2009 6:12:17 AM PST by Buck W. (The President of the United States IS named Schickelgruber...)
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To: Buck W.
Indeed.

It is still chilling to think that the Vatican once had a say in scientific matters. I'm glad we have progressed, and the theocrats are losing big time.

14 posted on 02/20/2009 7:04:36 AM PST by GunRunner
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To: GunRunner

You wrote:

“It is still chilling to think that the Vatican once had a say in scientific matters.”

It did? When? Does the US government have a say in scientific matters when it bans the cloning of human beings?

“I’m glad we have progressed, and the theocrats are losing big time.”

Yeah, that starry future with human clones, cyborg enhanced human brains, DNA threads spliced free of diseases, organ harvesting, etc....yeah, that’s so much to look forward to.


15 posted on 02/20/2009 5:25:14 PM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998
Are you a theocrat? Do I have to submit to your religious beliefs when it comes to science and technology?

Yeah, go ahead and use your straw men of cloning and "organ harvesting" (which is a stupid myth created by people opposed to organ donation).

I look forward to a day when 6,000 year old Earthers share the fate of the Flat Earth Society and the Temperance League.

16 posted on 02/20/2009 11:52:45 PM PST by GunRunner
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To: GodGunsGuts; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment

Obama: “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

17 posted on 02/20/2009 11:55:34 PM PST by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: dr_lew
Well, Galileo was wrong. (tee-hee!)
18 posted on 02/21/2009 12:09:05 AM PST by TimSkalaBim (Let's have some heliocentric fun!)
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To: TimSkalaBim
Galileo was famously wrong on many particulars. My personal favorite is his botched attempt to derive the law of centripetal force, which Newton summarily dispatched in Lemma XI of Book I:

The evanescent subtense to the angle of contact, in all curves which at the point of contact have a finite curvature, is ultimately as the square of the subtense of the conterminous arc.

Ho ho! How did he miss that one?

19 posted on 02/21/2009 12:26:47 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: Mogwai
Atheists in particular grossly exaggerate the injustice done to Galileo, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that he did suffer an injustice.

The greatness of Galileo is acknowledged by everyone, like that of Einstein; but unlike the latter, whom we are honoring today before the College of Cardinals in the apostolic palace, the former had to suffer a great deal - we cannot conceal the fact - at the hands of men and organisms of the Church. - Pope John Paul II

cited in

GALILEO : For Copernicanism and for the Church
Vatican Observatory Publications
by Annibale Fantoli

20 posted on 02/21/2009 12:47:03 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: dr_lew

A political bow to the sensibilites of the modern age.

The well-funded Galileo could have been more polite, himself.


21 posted on 02/21/2009 1:34:45 AM PST by TimSkalaBim (Let's have some heliocentric fun!)
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To: TimSkalaBim
The well-funded Galileo could have been more polite, himself.

I don't get your gist. Well funded how? He had patrons, and was treated very well, given the terms of his condemnation. I think this reflected the respect that he was accorded by all, rather than any power or influence he wielded.

And more polite than what? Than to say that he suffered at the hands of the Church? If he felt that way, he certainly wasn't free to say so! He had been forced after all, on pain of torture and death, to declare that he abjured and detested what he knew to be true, and had been proud of knowing and discovering.

But I think it's fairly certain that he attributed all of this to misfortune and the turn of events, and never abandoned his loyalty to the Church. I think the sorrow that he felt was for his Church and his Country as much as for himself.

22 posted on 02/21/2009 2:09:04 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: dr_lew
Galileo wrote his seminal book with the Church's blessing and invitation, and during his inquisition was well-taken care of, not faced with "torture and death."

With all due respect to the great man, whom I do admire, he suggested in his book that the Pope was a "dumb-ass", to which the Pope responded by calling Galileo a "heretic." The Enlightenment took care of the rest of the hero-suffering-for-science hagiography.

23 posted on 02/21/2009 3:05:02 AM PST by TimSkalaBim (Let's have some heliocentric fun!)
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To: GunRunner

You wrote:

“Are you a theocrat?”

What does that even mean? I know what the word means, but honestly what theocrats were involved here and how were they involved?

“Do I have to submit to your religious beliefs when it comes to science and technology?”

You most likely already accept my religious beliefs in regard to murder so are you suffering as a result? You most likely already accept my religious beliefs in regard to theft. Are you suffering from that? You most likely already accept my religious beliefs in regard to many moral issues. How are you suffering?

And when is an issue ever exclusively scientific or technological today? Is human cloning exclusively scientific as an issue?

“Yeah, go ahead and use your straw men of cloning and “organ harvesting” (which is a stupid myth created by people opposed to organ donation).”

Uh, no, it isn’t a myth. It just has not been fully developed as a science yet. The question is: should it be developed? And if we’re talking about science and allegations of theocracy then how can I not bring up cloning? How on earth could that be a straw man when it is a very real issue? I think you’re just dodging it because it doesn’t work for you as an issue.

“I look forward to a day when 6,000 year old Earthers share the fate of the Flat Earth Society and the Temperance League.”

In case you didn’t know, we all share exactly the same fate - we die. You will too. Hopefully, before your time comes, you’ll become more fair minded.


24 posted on 02/21/2009 3:25:30 AM PST by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: vladimir998; GodGunsGuts; neverdem; patton
Regrettably, (now) TV news, Washington DC politicians, environmental extremists, “envirocrats” and socialists DO have control of scientific thought, propaganda, and “freedom of speech.”

Control of the money for science.

Control of the printing of science.

Control of the research hiring and firings that control future science research.

Control of the classroom, movies, news media, and print media.

They are wrong on many areas - but have a full envirocratic control over may be printed and “peer reviewed.” They can't (so far) control the facts, but they are printing the lies (the doctrine) they want promoted.

25 posted on 02/21/2009 3:32:54 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: dr_lew; AFPhys; CholeraJoe; Alamo-Girl; Cyber Liberty; neverdem; MHGinTN

What’s “funny” about this is that nowhere in the Bible does it actually maintain that the earth is the center of the universe and that the sun orbits the earth. The Vatican “scholars” were wrong.

The Big Bang, formation of the universe, and evolution of life is sequenced very accurately in Genesis: just missing a few decimal places and powers-of-ten. Which is understandable - the zero had not been invented yet.


26 posted on 02/21/2009 3:36:56 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: dr_lew

“I think the sorrow that he felt was for his Church and his Country as much as for himself. “

Sounds a lot like the ending of 1984 ... some people love Big Brother right to the bitter end.


27 posted on 02/21/2009 3:56:41 AM PST by fnord (There's a reason we don't often hear about a Michelob deal gone bad.)
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To: RobbyS
A LOT of Englightenment thinking was revisionist history. Even down to something like medieval swords.... The wimpy rapier or the curved cavalry saber were all that were left of practical fighting swords by the 17th & 18th Centuries' era of gunpowder, and along with a loathing for all things medieval, came a loathing for their swords.

A classic 13th Century sword was imagined as nothing but a heavy machete-like chopper--which is far from the truth. A quality two edged sword from the high middle ages was finely crafted (as any Samurai sword), of high quality steel, and weighed in at just over 2 lbs.

Only now, within the last 10 years or so--are duplicates of such quality swords available.

28 posted on 02/21/2009 7:24:51 AM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Thanks for the ping!


29 posted on 02/21/2009 7:24:53 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: AnalogReigns

Where can one get them? Beautiful! More as I imagine the Roman short sword.

Another falsehood was the notion that modern science originated with the Renaissance. In fact, much of modern technology began to develop during he Middle Ages, including the first mechanical clocks, and a huge numer of machines in places like the netherlands. Windmills were very numerous and many other devises. This leads naturally into theory and the development of ever more efficient machines as time wears on. Wouldn’t surprise me if someone pointed out designs of bush-league Da Vincis. The craftsmen and engineers who built the gothic cathedrals must have been enormously inventive,


30 posted on 02/21/2009 7:38:14 AM PST by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
The scholars were captives of the Greek science they had had been taught in their youth. But the funny thing is that many "pro-choice" Catholics remain wedded to an outdated embryology and to an intellectualism that makes "thinking" necessary to humanity. Cogito ergo sum! The logical conclusion is that no human infant can be counted as human, because he can do no more tricks than a young chimp.
31 posted on 02/21/2009 7:48:09 AM PST by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: RobbyS
Where can one get them? Beautiful!

If one wants an authentic replica sword, you must look for (at least!) the qualification of "tempered" or "battle ready," as there are a lot of junk-replica "wall hanger" swords out there. Most of the hand-forged swords--built just like they were in medieval times-- (if they aren't custom built) are made overseas, although, Quebec has a decent forger (but whose swords, while indestructible, tend to be heavy...). www.darksword-armory.com )

Windlass of India ( www.museumreplicas.com, makes very fine swords (including ceremonial swords for the US military) which match the quality of the middle ages, at a reasonable cost (that would be under $300).

If cost is no object, swords BETTER than those of knights can be had from some American makers--Albion (above) is the best... ( www.albion-swords.com ) made from impeccably machined steel alloys. To my mind though, these are just too perfect... to be unrecognizable to a medieval...besides costing upwards of $900.

The maker of the sword I pictured earlier (and imediately above) (a copy of King Henry V of England's sword from the early 1400s, categorized an Oakshott Type XVIII) is by another excellent hand-forged maker, Generation 2, of the Philippines www.imperialweapons.com.. This particular model is considered a breakthrough, as it is a very close replica of an actual museum piece, at (just) $260. Before this sword, exact replicas were $500 and up.

Hanwei of China ( www.casiberia.com ) also produces authentic hand-forged swords at reasonable prices. Like most of the sword makers above, they produce various designs, Asian, Medieval, or, as you like, ancient Roman designs (below).

Tempered/battle ready swords can come sharpened or unsharpened (a bone of contention among some scholars--as both kinds exist from the middle ages). Probably a medieval sword maker produced an unsharpened sword--which could then be used for much needed practice--and only was sharpened up for serious battle. Modern (real) sword makers do the same.

Since a knight's quality sword of the middle ages was known to have cost the price of a house... $260 up to a couple thousand dollars today, can be seen as a great bargain!

Personally, I got into swords through an Australian website called the Sword Buyer's Guide (www.sword-buyers-guide.com ) They have some 10% discount coupons available there (and on 300 dollars $30 is nothing to sneeze at) and the guy running it seems very knowledgeable without being a snob--as some sword collectors certainly are. He specializes in the under $300 variety of real, usable swords.

Honestly, I bet his expertise has something to do with the hideous government gun-grabbing now prevalent in Australia. In these uncertain times, besides guns, I actually do think having a real sword around isn't a bad idea.

The best places to look at swords online are actually NOT the manufacturers/wholesalers sites above, but at dealers--who often have the latest models and at better prices. Cult of Athena and Arms of Valor are considered a couple of excellent dealers, where you can see all the various brands--however they do sell junk wall hangers as well as real tempered ("battle ready") swords.

32 posted on 02/21/2009 10:55:16 AM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: AnalogReigns

Thanks


33 posted on 02/21/2009 11:25:26 AM PST by RobbyS (ECCE homo)
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To: Buck W.
Thank God (and I mean that literally) your brand of "science" is not to be found in the public schools.

Thank your literal God that your children are not allowed to pray publicly, your teachers are not allowed to instigate prayer but that your kindergardener can learn all about the joys of homosexuality. And your teenager can procure free condoms. It was horrible to tax secularists for schools that had a place for God, but quite okay to tax Christians for atheistic/anti-theistic institutions. You are most welcome to your public schools, can I just have my money back?

34 posted on 02/21/2009 11:32:09 AM PST by TradicalRC (Conservatism is primarily a Christian movement.)
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To: TradicalRC

Are you saying that I support those other things? Remember—the topic of my post was restricted to creationism as non-science.


35 posted on 02/21/2009 11:37:43 AM PST by Buck W. (The President of the United States IS named Schickelgruber...)
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To: dr_lew

Cracks me up every time! Thanks for the belly laugh!


36 posted on 02/21/2009 11:40:18 AM PST by Buck W. (The President of the United States IS named Schickelgruber...)
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To: dr_lew

Thank you for the more accurate quotation. That was over a decade ago.
He is saying there are separate spheres of inquiry, but not denying the validity of either.
The ‘brainwashing’ in this instance was to surround this text fore and aft with interpretations which made it difficult for students to examine the text alone, and seemed to seek to create an anachronistic mindset which caused the student to simply say “ah, separation of church and state, now I understand,” turn off his brain and absorb an amorphous sense of how science has steadily triumphed over superstition and we are all better off for it.


37 posted on 02/24/2009 8:28:44 PM PST by Apogee (In and out a lot these days, little sleep. The patient may receive a response which may make sense.)
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To: TimSkalaBim
Galileo wrote his seminal book with the Church's blessing and invitation, and during his inquisition was well-taken care of, not faced with "torture and death."

But the confession which Galileo had made was not considered adequate (how could it have been?), neither by the members of the Holy Office nor by Urban VIII. Therefore, in order to ascertain Galileo's true intention, there was nothing left but, "the way of convincing him with reasons", that is, to be exact, the rigorous examination. But even in this rigorous examination there remains after all something of the "benign": torture will only be threatened, not actually applied. - Fantoli, op. cit., pg. 441

38 posted on 02/24/2009 9:27:57 PM PST by dr_lew
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